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Friday 28 September 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth - Day 2

Here it is... day two of our Disneyland adventure.

Now if we thought it was hot on day one we were in for a big surprise. It was even hotter on day two and even though us Aussies should be able to cope with the heat not experiencing any for over a year has messed us around. It probably got to about 34c on day two which we would easily have been able to cope with back home but seeing as our San Francisco Summer weather barely gets above 25c we really struggled. Poor Lola in particular looked like she was about to melt half the time.

To escape a little of the heat (and to get into Disneyland a little faster) we decided to catch the Monorail from Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland. After the eventful ride on Big Thunder Railroad the day before Ava was a little wary about catching the monorail. She was pleasantly surprised to discover that it really was just like a small train and that we hadn't tricked her again!

Once we were inside Disneyland the girls were eager to head straight back to It's a Small World for a second go. Given the heat we were happy to go along with this and buckled ourselves into the boat for another 15 minutes of nauseating (but air-conditioned!) cheesiness!

Pretty excited for round two of It's a Small World

After It's a Small World we headed back to Mickey's Toontown. While the girls were pretty excited about playing in Toontown again we had to keep it to a minimum given the heat and the fact that there's hardly any shade in Toontown - something we hadn't noticed the evening before. This time the girls got to meet Minnie Mouse for the first time and met Pluto and Mickey for a second time.

Ava and Lola in Toon Town

Ava and Lola on the Jolly Trolley

Meeting Minnie

Minnie signs Ava's autograph book

Meeting Pluto again - just as excited the second time around!

Meeting Mickey again. This time he's gone for  a nautical look.

Meeting Mickey again

After leaving Mickey's Toontown we headed back to Fantasyland for another turn on the Teacups. I had missed out on day one so I was glad that the girls had wanted another turn. Ava's fear of fast rides joined us on the Teacups and she had a little freakout every time I turned the wheel to make us spin faster. Lola on the other hand wanted to spin as fast as possible and was urging me to turn the wheel harder! Isn't it funny when the baby of the family is more fearless than her older sister? I guess Lola just hasn't yet reached the age where she understands danger and fear.

Ready to ride the teacups
Spin faster!

After round two on the Teacups we stepped next door for the Alice in Wonderland ride. Once again Ava was a little worried that the ride would include speed and darkness but once she got over her initial apprehension she really enjoyed the ride.

From Fantasyland it was onto Frontierland once again to visit Tom Sawyer Island in the middle of Rivers of America. We caught the raft across the river and spent quite some time exploring the Pirate's Lair and caves. The girls loved climbing and running around on the island despite the heat. It was nice for them to do something a little more physical rather than just sitting in a ride watching the entertainment fly by.

Crossing a bridge on Tom Sawyer Island
Kylie makes it across
Lots of caves and tunnels to explore on Tom Sawyer Island

The treehouse on Tom Sawyer Island

After the excitement of running around on Tom Sawyer Island we headed to Critter Country to meet Winnie the Pooh and friends. We had tried to meet them on day one but arrived just after they'd closed the gate to queue up. The girls were a little upset by this. They could see Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore, they could see other children meeting them but they weren't able to meet them themselves. This time we got there with plenty of time to spare and after about half an hour of waiting it was our turn to meet our friends from Hundred Acre Wood.

Hugs with Tigger

Family photo? Oops... that's not Kim!
Meeting Eeyore. Lola seemed a little worried that he wasn't smiley like the other characters.
Pooh signs Ava's autograph book

Meeting Pooh

From Critter Country we headed to Adventureland. Lola had fallen asleep by this time so we took the opportunity to go on a relaxing cruise through the jungle on the Jungle Cruise. Lola was so tired that she slept in my arms for the entire boat ride and beyond. As we cruised through the jungle river Ava watched in awe at the elephants, rhinos, hippos, hyenas, lions, gorillas and jungle tribesmen that lined the banks. Did she know that they were fake? I guess so, but she was in such a trance watching the action on the shores that I didn't want to take any magic away from her by asking. In fact, Ava enjoyed the Jungle Cruise so much she asked to go on it again as soon as we were finished. The day was getting on a little and there was still so much to see that we decided to move on.

Ava in Adventureland

A bull elephant watches us float by

Watch out for rhinos!

Ava on the Jungle Cruise

After our relaxing cruise we checked our Tarzan's Tree House. This was another interactive attraction with ladders and stairs to climb, suspension bridges to cross, ropes to shimmy up and down and lovely views to take in. Watching the sun begin to set over Disneyland from the lofty heights of Tarzan's Tree House was pretty spectacular.

Ava climbs a rope at Tarzan's Treehouse

The view from Tarzan's Tree House
The view from Tarzan's Tree House

Watching the sun set from Tarzan's Tree House

From Adventureland we headed to Tomorrowland where we had started our Disney adventure for the day. Lola was still fast asleep (and would remain so for quite some time yet) so Kim stayed with her while Kylie, Ava and I went on the Astro Orbitor. This was another ride that Ava was initially terrified of. She had enjoyed the Dumbo ride and we tried to convince her that it was exactly the same albeit a little higher off the ground. Once we were in the air and Ava realised how smoothly the rockets travelled she quite enjoyed it and wanted to go again.  

Ava in Tomorrowland infront of the Astro Orbitor


A little apprehensive about the Astro Orbitor

Kylie flying her rocket on the Astro Orbitor


After our rocket ride through space Kim and Lola (who was still asleep) set out to find dinner while Kylie, Ava and I explored the depths of Tomorrowland Lagoon in the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The colour of the submarine? Yellow of course! Aren't all the best submarines yellow?
Once again Ava was a little nervous about this ride and I had to convince her (without spoiling the magic for any of the other children on the ride) that the submarine wasn't really diving to the bottom of the ocean even though it appeared that way. The submarine was "manned" by a crew of Australians with the most over the top Aussie accents you could imagine. I was waiting for one of them to come out with "Crikey" or "You beaut"! Maybe it's the fact that I don't hear that many Australian accents (apart from our own) but they did seem very "Crocodile Hunter" to me!

We met up with Kim and Lola (who was now awake and screaming) and headed towards Main Street USA for one last stop. Throughout Disneyland (and all our travels within America) we have been collecting squished pennies for the girls. A very helpful staff member in Frontierland had given us the locations of all the penny squishing machines throughout the park and it seemed that most of them were to be found in the foyer of Great Moments with Mr Lincoln in Main Street USA. We squished our pennies (amid tantrums from very tired children) and then took one last look back at Disneyland before saying goodbye - for now. I'm sure at some point we'll be back again.

Goodbye Disneyland

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